Monday, June 11, 2012

Sharon at Keystone ~ Part II

Part 1 appeared here.  Without further ado, Sharon Rose:

Click each for full size
On Friday morning I attended a seminar about corsets which was preseted by John Warrener, the former owner of the Glamour Boutique [love Glamour Boutique ~ Meg], a store which caters to transgender persons. Up until now I have worn a waist cincher when I wanted to achieve a more feminine waistline, with only modest success.  A GG friend of mine who is a member of TGEA, the local support group in the Washington D.C. area., to which I belong, suggested that I try a corset. The seminar was helpful.  Later in the day I stopped by the merchant's room.  I browsed several tables of jewelry before trying on one of Mr. Warrener's corsets.  Luckily, he had one in my size.  I tried it on over my clothing (I was wearing a black pinstripe suit with a gold camisole) and was quite pleased with how it looked.  So I bought it, and I wore it Friday evening and Saturday evening. I think you can tell from the photo Meg has posted that it had a noticeable effect on my waistline.  Mr. Warrener also styled my dark brown wig.  I had been wearing it with the hair swept across my forehead, as the photo shows.  He suggested brushing the hair down to create bangs, and when I agreed he trimmed the hair.  This covered up my cranial ridge, which is more pronounced in a male than in a person who is born female.  Meg has posted a closeup photo showing how it looked afterwards.
Learning how to properly tighten and loosen the laces is the hard part, especially when you don't have anyone around to help you.  I had trouble with this and called Jude, one of my TG friends, who was nice enough to come up to my room to help me.
IMO, Bangs are always hot
On Friday afternoon I attended two presentations by Kathe Perez:  The Fundamentals of Your Feminine Voice:  From He to She, and Beyond the Fundamentals:  From Passable to Beautiful.  Ms. Perez is a speech-language pathologist who, as part of her practice, works with transgender persons to help feminize their voice.  She taught us about the different voice and speech characteristics, taught us some basic exercises and techniques to begin to feminize our voices, and worked to help us build our confidence.  I was quite impressed by her presentation. The two most important things I learned from her presentation were that feminizing your voice would take lots of hard work and practice, but that it is quite possible for someone born male to speak in a feminine voice.  She told us we could use musical notes to cue us to the right pitch.  Also, that it is not just a matter of pitch, but also resonance, articulation, and melodic intonation.  She demonstrated how a female voice could be so more more interesting and full of personality.  She reminded me of some other women I have known, who I have tried to model myself after.  In my male persona I can be somewhat shy and reserved at times, but with some of these tips I hope I can use my female voice to better express the woman within me.
Kathe has some useful videos on YouTube ( and has free tips on her Web site at  I haven't decided yet whether to order any of her CDs or MP3 downloads.  I definitely plan on checking out her free stuff and practicing whenever I can. If you are interested in working on your voice I would suggest that you check out her videos and Web site. There is a ton of useful information there.
After the seminars were over, I changed to my evening outfit and rode the bus into town for dinner.  I sat next to Mike, a gentleman who is a long-time friend of Janine (the President of Transcentral PA and one of the organizers of the conference).  I had met Mike briefly at the Karaoke thursday night, and I complimented him on his singing voice.  He was attending the conference as an "ally", a friend of the TG community.
There were several different restaurants to choose from.  I had a nice meal at Passage to India.  I was feeling quite stuffed due to the corset and was looking forward to some dancing.  After dinner the bus dropped us off at Stocks on Second, a restaurant and bar which had a DJ and a dance floor.  I had been to Stocks in prior years and knew it was a hip place.  There were 20 or 30 attendees from the conference there, and we pretty much took over the place.  I danced for over two hours, most of it with three attractive GGs who appeared to be in their 20s.  In drab mode I would have just stood in one spot and danced, making little eye contact, and not interacting much in a physical way with other people on the dance floor.  As Sharon, by the second day of the conference I was fully immersed in my persona, and I was feeling a bit more . . . playful.  I introduced myself to one of the ladies.  She said her name was Maria and she and her two friends had come there after work to hang out.  We smiled at each other, danced together, sang together, bumped hips, and did other stuff that girls do.  I said: "You are going to have quite a story to tell your other friends after tonight."  She said she was cool with us hanging out and all, and she and her friends were having a great time.  Maria was kind enough to take a picture of me, which Meg has posted here.  The conference also had photographers who accompanied us out for the evening, and they took several photos of us at Stocks, but I haven't had a chance to order them yet. Perhaps the high point was when the DJ played a song by the Pussycat Dolls called "Don't cha", and we all sang the refrain together: "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"
Eventually, Maria and her friends left.  They hugged me (and some of the other TGs who had danced with them) goodbye and left, leaving me with an indelible memory of a great evening. I headed back to the hotel shortly after that.  I snapped some photos in my room using the autotimer on my camera, which I had placed strategically on the top of the flatscreen television, before eventually drifting off to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Sharon...I read your story with a smile on my face...thanks....Vivien


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